MT1CC-The Science of Climate Change

Module Provider: Meteorology
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites: GCSE Science Grade C
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Prof Nigel Arnell


Summary module description:

This module provides an introduction to the science of climate change, aimed at students who do not necessarily have a scientific background. It provides the background for a deep and informed understanding of one of today’s key global challenges. Why is climate changing, and how will it change in the future? How can we predict future climate? What is a “dangerous” climate change? And how can we construct and use knowledge of climate change to inform adaptation and mitigation?

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module, the student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the mechanisms and processes behind climate change
  • Demonstrate an ability to interpret and critically evaluate projections of future climate and its impacts
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the current scientific understanding of climate change, and how this informs policy

Additional outcomes:
The student will gain a sound scientific background for further study into other scientific, social, economic, legal and political dimensions of climate change and responses to it.

Outline content:
The climate system
Modelling past, present and future climate change
Projecting the future
The impacts of climate change: what is dangerous?
Adapting to climate change
Mitigating climate change

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The module will be largely lecture based but with a practical session using a simple computer based climate model

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 18
Practicals classes and workshops 2
Guided independent study 80
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 70
Written assignment including essay 30

Other information on summative assessment:

Formative assessment methods:
A Blackboard Quiz on lectures 1-4 in week 4 (unassessed).

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    1.5 hours.

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-sit examination in August / September

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 21 December 2016

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